After going nearly three years without fighting, Dan Hardy is eyeing a return to the Octagon, and has named several fighters he’d be interested in facing.
The veteran fighter and UFC commentator hasn’t fought now since September, 2012, when he decisioned Amir Sadollah at UFC on FUEL TV 5. Following the bout, which was Hardy’s 25th pro victory, “The Outlaw” was diagnosed with the rare heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
Recently the 33 year-old spoke with Ground and Pound.de, and while doing so, Hardy revealed he’s hoping to receive medical clearance to fight again “by the end of the year”. Hardy also said that he wants to have a complete camp before he seeks medical clearance, and that he hopes to fight a couple more times.
Now in terms of an opponent, Hardy relayed the following (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“There are a lot of good fighters out there, particularly at the moment, it seems to be a wealth of strikers. Difficult to pick, really. Who would I like to fight? Well, people I respect, people that will give me a good fight, a good challenge”, Hardy said. “Obviously ‚Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) is very active at the moment, he’s been looking really good, he’s a great kickboxer, he’s got good ground game, he would be a tough test for me. K.J. Noons, I never particularly vibed with that guy, but he’s an ex-pro boxer and he fancies himself as a better striker, so that’d be a fun fight. Diego Sanchez, he’s injured at the moment, but I know me and him go back and forth. He called me out from time to time.”
Of course, all three of those guys would make for interesting fights. Hardy has said that he’s not as big as he used to be, and as a result, the veteran welterweight could drop to 155. Cerrone, however, is a long shot, since he’s set to fight lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos later this year. But Sanchez (when he’s healthy) and Noons could definitely be possibilities no? It will be good to see Hardy back in the cage, regardless of who he faces.
In the meantime, Hardy will be on hand at UFC FN 69 this weekend in Berlin, Germany, to commentate the action.